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UPDATE 1-Tennis-Barty downs Rogers to set up Serena clash in Yarra Valley

· 02/05/2021 00:46
UPDATE 1-Tennis-Barty downs Rogers to set up Serena clash in Yarra Valley

Updates with later matches

- Ash Barty dominated the super tiebreaker to beat Shelby Rogers 7-5 2-6 (10-4) and set up a semi-final against Serena Williams in the Yarra Valley Classic on Friday as the Australian Open warmups resumed following a COVID-19 scare.

Williams also needed a super tiebreaker to get past fellow American Danielle Collins 6-2 4-6 (10-6) on Margaret Court Arena.

Super tiebreakers are being played after two sets in all WTA warm-ups as organisers look to clear a backlog of matches caused by Thursday's suspension of play after a worker at one of the Melbourne quarantine hotels contracted COVID-19. nL1N2KA05L

In the other half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza dumped Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin out of the tournament 6-2 6-2 in a re-match of last year's Grand Slam final at Melbourne Park.

Muguruza will play the winner of the last quarter-final between Marketa Vondrousova and Nadia Podoroska.

Williams, the winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, never looked like following Kenin through the exit door despite a tricky tie against her compatriot, the 39-year-old ramping up her serve when it mattered to get the job done.

"I think it's definitely a good opportunity to see where I'm going against the current No. 1," Williams said of facing Barty.

"I think that's really important for me. Obviously I think for her, as well, to see where she's going against my game."

Barty and Rogers were among the first players out on court, playing under a closed roof at Margaret Court Arena on a rainy morning at Melbourne Park.

"It was a tricky one, when the roof shuts here the conditions become quite sterile," said Barty.

"There were certainly some challenges today ... Happy to get through and get another opportunity tomorrow."

After being gifted the first set when Rogers crumbled on serve, top seed Barty was on the back foot in the second as the world number 60 found her range and began dominating the rallies with raw power.

Shelby's resurgence fizzled out in the tiebreak, however, and she surrendered the match with a wild backhand that sailed well past the baseline.

In the Grampians Trophy, another former Melbourne Park champion Victoria Azarenka recovered from a horror second set to advance with a 6-4 1-6 (11-9) win over Yulia Putintseva.

Top-seeded Swiss Belinda Bencic fell 7-5 6-2 to Romania's Sorana Cirstea.


(Reporting by Ian Ransom and Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

((ian.ransom@thomsonreuters.com; +61 3 9286 1447;))